I'm a psychologist – simple basket trick supermarkets use to make you spend more and how to avoid it | The Sun

SNEAKY supermarkets have been using a simple basket trick to get shoppers to spend more money at the checkout.

Retailers often avoid putting baskets near the entrance of supermarkets in favour of bigger trolleys, according to consumer psychologist Dr Catherine Jansson-Boyd.

The lecturer at Angela Ruskin University said trolleys are easier to fill up and easy to pull around so people don't notice the weight.

This means you're more likely to fill your trolley as you go around the shop and spend more cash.

Dr Jansson Boyd said: "A basket becomes noticeably heavy and thus is a sign that you should stop shopping.

"For this reason, handheld baskets are often placed next to the check out tills to discourage people from using them.


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"It creates inconvenience to walk over to get one rather than grabbing one on wheels next to the entrance."

But this isn't the only trick supermarkets use to to get you to part with your cash.

Dr Jannson-Boyd has shared six more tricks supermarket use to make shoppers spend more, in the hope it will help prevent you getting duped in the future.

1. Supermarkets place items strategically

Retailers strategically place items in specific locations to encourage shoppers to buy pricier items than they came in for.

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She said: "People are often in a rush whilst shopping for food and thus don’t want to spend considerable time looking at everything in the shop.

"Therefore, more expensive items – that provide a better profit margin – are placed around 120 cm above the floor as this is where most people look when scanning the shelves for goods.

"It means they are more likely to pick something up that cost more.

"If consumers were to scan the entire shelf, on every isle, they would become cognitively tired, and therefore they don’t."

If you want to beat this trick and slash your bills, don't get distracted from your target buys and stick to what's on your shopping list.

2. Aldi and Lidl's middle aisle

Chances are you've left Aldi or Lidl with heaps more than you had originally popped in for – and there's a reason why this happens.

Dr Jansson-Boyd said the supermarket's have a "jumble sale" style lay out to give shoppers an "adrenaline rush" as they feel like they are bargain hunting.

She said: "It creates a feeling of excitement and gives shoppers a feel-good factor."

Again, making a list so you know exactly what you've gone in for will help you to stick to just what you need.

3. Fresh produce draws you in

Putting fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers a the front creates an impression of freshness, Dr Jansson-Boy said.

This is so shoppers begin to subconsciously think that everything in the store is fresh, she added.

Customers save save here by opting to buy frozen fruit and veg, but if you do prefer fresh, then you can freeze it before its expiry date.

4. Changing layouts can throw shoppers off

Moving products around every now and again means that customers can't just walk in and buy one or two things.

Instead, they will have to search the whole shop to find what they need.

Dr Jannson-Boyd said: "While shoppers explore, doing they are likely to find other things that they may need, or simply spot something they fancy and therefore come out with several items they did not originally intend to buy.

In a situation like this, make sure you look above the aisles at the signs to make sure you're heading in the right direction.

5. More layout traps

Supermarkets are often set out in such a way that shoppers feel they can only walk in a particular direction.

Dr Jansson-Boyd said: "The process makes shoppers see more products that they are likely to purchase."

To beat this trick, only visit the aisles you really need to – and don't feel like you have to shop in a certain order.

6. Keep an eye out for hidden promotions

The placement of special promotions in store can have a big impact on our spending.

Dr Jansson-Body said supermarkets often place them in a specific part of the store where shoppers are more likely to spot them.

She said: "Having a layout that consists of aisles also ensures that people look at the shelves on the end of the aisles as they have to turn to start walking down the next one.

"Therefore, supermarket tends to put special promotions on the end of the aisles as most consumers see them and that increases likelihood of purchase."

In this situation, make sure read the promotion in full to see if it's something you actually need, and if it's a good saving.

Other ways to cut the cost of your supermarket shop

Research what you need before you go. Prices always vary by supermarkets and it can pay to change up your shop.

One shopper ditched going to supermarkets altogether in favour of their local wholesaler, that way they could stock up in bulk, at lower prices.

You can also cash in on reduced foods like yellow sticker bargains – these will be items reduced because they're about to meet their best before date.

They'll still be safe to eat, or freeze to make them last longer, but it means you can pick up the same products at an even cheaper price.

Sometimes even timing your shop to stock up just as items are discounted on the shelves can help you get the best bargains – lots of shoppers have said this is in the evening typically.

But being smart about how you shop isn't the only way to slash spending.

Especially as prices continue to rise, there are schemes in place to help the most hard-up buy essentials.

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Parents can get up to £442 in Healthy Start vouchers that they can use at the supermarket, on food and more for their children, for example.

Plus, many councils offer supermarket vouchers as part of the Household Support fund – so you can make your money go further with the extra support available.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

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